Polymorphism in heat-shock protein 70-1 (HSP70-1) gene promoter region and susceptibility to tuberculoid leprosy and pulmonary tuberculosis in Asian Indians.
Heat shock proteins (HSP) act as immunological target structures either by themselves because of an unusual expression pattern, or they are carrier proteins for immunogenic peptides. A three-allele polymorphism of HSP70-1 promoter region was analysed in random patients with pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB), or with tuberculoid (TT) leprosy and healthy controls from North India. HSP70-1A and HSP70-1C occurred more frequently (> 60%) while HSP70-1B occurred infrequently in this population. Only HSP70-1A allele was significantly increased in TT leprosy as compared to healthy controls (91.8% Vs 71.1%, Pc < 0.03, RR = 4.58). Although a strong association of HLA-DR15 was observed with both of these patient groups in earlier studies, no correlation was found between HSP70-1 promoter alleles with any of the HLA allotypes. Amongst six possible genotype combinations of HSP70-1 promoter allele, only four (A/A, A/B, A/C, C/C) were encountered in Asian Indians. A significant increase of HSP70-1 A/C genotype was observed among DR15 negative PTB patients as compared to DR15 negative controls (87.5% Vs 35.7%, X2 = 8.6, Pc < 0.02) giving highest relative risk of 12.6. These findings suggest that HSP70-1 genes may play a secondary role to HLA-DR in governing susceptibility to mycobacterial infectious diseases.